RELEASE: CAP Calls for the Expansion of National Service Programs as Part of COVID-19 Economic Recovery

Washington, D.C. — A new column from the Center for American Progress and The Corps Network explains why expanding and adopting national service programs can be an important part of the economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

National Service programs, such as AmeriCorps, often attract young workers, who face significantly higher joblessness rates than older workers. Due to racial discrimination in the labor market, younger workers of color are especially likely to be unemployed. During a recession, younger workers are at a higher risk of permanent effects such as reduced employment and wages than are those who have a longer track record of working. National service programs can provide younger workers with paid work experiences, job skills, nationally recognized certifications, and professional networks. The column highlights the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), which was founded during the Great Depression as a potential model.

“As it stands now, there are no cohesive plans to address the structural issues that cause youth unemployment as part of the COVID-19 economic recovery,” said Livia Lam, senior fellow and director of Workforce Development at the Center for American Progress and a co-author of the column. “A national service program would not only lower unemployment, but it would also connect young people to the workforce in a way that would benefit them throughout their working lives.”

Read:As the U.S. Economy Recovers, National Service Can Keep Vulnerable Young Workers Engaged in the Workforce” by Livia Lam and Mary Ellen Sprenkel

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